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Kittner, Daniela

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Kurier - Austria | 09/12/2010

Austria must support its teachers

In the current Pisa study Austrian schoolchildren came fourth from last among the OECD states in the area of reading skills. Politicians say the solution is a standardised comprehensive school system, but for the daily Kurier the teachers are at the heart of the problem: "Not even the umteenth slap in the face can change how the protagonists in this debate think. This applies not only to the politicians but also to many experts who never stop chanting 'comprehensive school'. The consulting firm McKinsey has taken a look at successful school systems around the world and concludes that this very debate over systems is what distracts attention from the real issue, namely what takes place in the classrooms. No one bothers to assess how well suited the teachers are for such a challenging job. Once a teacher, always a teacher - regardless of how well they do their job. And no one bothers to give committed teachers systematic support, to help them in their careers or to put their know-how to good use."

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